Aeterna Zentaris Receives Complete Response Letter From FDA

Aeterna Zentaris Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs in oncology and endocrinology, reports that it has received a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new drug application (NDA) for Macrilen (macimorelin), an orally active ghrelin agonist, for use in evaluating adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). Based on its review, the FDA has determined that the NDA cannot be approved in its present form.

The CRL mentions that the planned analysis of the company’s pivotal trial did not meet its stated primary efficacy objective as agreed to in the Special Protocol Assessment agreement letter between the company and the FDA. The CRL further mentioned issues related to the lack of complete and verifiable source data for determining whether patients were accurately diagnosed with AGHD. The FDA concluded that, “in light of the failed primary analysis and data deficiencies noted, the clinical trial does not by itself support the indication.” To address the deficiencies identified above, the CRL states that the company will need to demonstrate the efficacy of macimorelin as a diagnostic test for growth hormone deficiency in a new, confirmatory clinical study. The CRL also outlined that a serious event of electrocardiogram QT interval prolongation occurred for which attribution the drug could not be excluded. Therefore a dedicated thorough QT study to evaluate the effect of macimorelin on the QT interval would be necessary.

David Dodd, chairman and CEO at Aeterna Zentaris said in a company statement: “Following the FDA’s decision, we are currently reviewing the outstanding issues stated in the CRL in order to evaluate our options and future plans for Macrilen.”

Macimorelin, a ghrelin agonist, is an orally active small molecule that stimulates the secretion of growth hormone. Macimorelin, under the trade name Macrilen, has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for AGHD. Aeterna Zentaris owns the worldwide rights to the compound.

Source: Aeterna Zentaris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *